Well some of you might not know but I recently went down to Singapore for a 3D2N holiday. It was kinda interesting as I haven't been down that south since 1995 and as you all know. I do love to sidetrack from my intended stories, and this post would be oh so left out without that trademark sidetrack, and yes in case any of you were wondering. This IS going to be a yet another long post. Good news is i have photos this time.
Now Singapore and Malaysia are kinda like Canada and the United States, UK and France and maybe even Taiwan and China. All of these countries are sorta similar they are neighbors but at the same time your not really sure if you really like each other. Well my mum almost became Singaporean and i have a lot of family in Singapore but does that mean I think they're ok? Not really. First of all I want to address the fact the Malaysians are split into 2 : one side hates those kiasu Singaporean bastards, and the other love and admire the fact they are so successful and how we should be more like them.
Well people are like that I suppose. Nobody wants to actually analyze a situation. people just want to know who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. The whole word is in black and white so choose your sides. In actual fact there is no such thing. The whole world is in different shades of Grey. Singapore has its advantages and disadvantages. Same and us. So both of you shut up.
I would like however to clear some misconceptions about Singapore. There are a few, but I wanna point out 2 very common ones.
1. Singapore left Malaysia. This is in fact very incorrect. We severed Singapore from the Federation of Malaysia. At the time they were not happy but I'm sure now we are all better for it.
2. Singapore is a richer country than Malaysia. Well this is up for debate. It really depends on how you look at it. How rich a country is is based on several factors.
All these facts are international placings in the world based on the World Bank
Malaysia 1-Singapore 0
2.Foreign exchange reserves (also called Forex reserves) in a strict sense are only the foreign currency deposits held by central banks and monetary authorities. => This basically measures how much foreign currency a country has.
Malaysia 1- Singapore 1
4. List of countries of the world sorted by their Gross Domestic Product (nominal) per capita, => Roughly I understand its hoe much the country earns divided by how many citizens it has.
Malaysia 2- Singapore 2
Ok we are tied here. They got some, we got some. So who is richer? Well let me put it into perspective for you. Which country do you think is the richest country in the world?
So if you believe the US is the richest country in the world based on that same belief, we are richer than Singapore.
So if Singapore is richer than us does that mean we're richer than the UK, and US?
Well the answer is actually no to all.
Yup people are living it up in Botswana compared to us I tell you!!
Ok Ok this blog has been very bias. However i would like to stress I do not hate Singapore. Opposite actually I really respect them for how they have dealt with their country. I just wanna poke some fun at those people who constantly say how Singapore are doing so much better than we are.
Lemme break it down for you.
1. We are a richer country compared to Singapore. We earn more money and have a bigger economy.
2. Singaporeans individually though are richer than us, and an average Singaporean has more spending/buying power than a average Malaysian. This is because they have 3 million citizens while we have 26 million. While our population is about 8 times theirs our economy is not.
So the next time somebody says to you Singapore is richer than us correct them.
Ok now lets move on to my trip....
Well about a month ago I was planning a trip down to Singapore for the Deepavali weekend. So I got my passport done and things look set to go. So I was looking for a place to stay and man oh man after you convert the currency things are crazy expensive. I found this place called South East Asia Hotel and it was charging
$88 SingDollars with breakfast(so times that by 2.3). Sounds good but then by the time I got around to booking it and got a reply from them it turns out they are fresh outta rooms. So in a panicked state I asked and found out there is this chain of hotels called Hotel 81. Now I know it sounds dodgy but its actually a respectful hotel line. When I was booking it on-line I saw it was $90. Ok not bad. Just a little more expensive. So i saw there were a list of places where the Hotel was located. I saw Geylang was one of them.
Now for those of you who don't know prostitution is legal in Singapore, and they operate outta Geyland. The red lantern district. Ok I'm not going to Singapore for that..really... I'll book somewhere else. Then i saw Orchid road. Hey ain't that like their Bukit Bintang? Yeah sounds like a posh area. Why not? Turns out that was Orchard row, and Orchad row and Orchid road is not the same. So i specifically didn't want to go to Geylang and guess where Orchid road is? Yup!
Too late so now I check in at the Singapore immigration and this dude asks me where I'm staying. So i say geylang. So then he says "banyak banyak tempat you tinggal kat geylang". Then hinted i was looking for hookers and asked me to not spend all my money. Welcome to Singapore.
So anyway there is this place called bugis in Singapore and its kinda like all these small shops selling everything from earrings, to The "Singapore is a fine Country" T-shirts, to Dildos (yup) to food to clothes.. everythinglah. Walking distance to Bugis is Bencoolen and there was a Hotel 81 there as well. So I thought hey maybe I can stay here instead. I mean its the same hotel chain why not? Turns out the prices are not the same. I ended up paying around $300 for 2 nights. Yikes. Ok time to eat more maggi. Haha. Ok its not that bad. I still managed to stay within my budget. Kinda. However what i was very unhappy about was the hotel breakfast. it was really bad. The worst hotel breakfast i have ever eaten. I think alang-alang no needlah if ur your gonna serve such crappy food.
Travel advice No1 for you guys who are planning on traveling to Singapore, stay in JB. Because for about RM350(roughly what I paid) a night you can get a really nice hotel. In fact I think nice hotels in Malaysia start at RM90. Cross the border everyday if you need to. Really its not that bad and you'll save a lot. Plus JB is so nearby it doesn't really make a difference in terms of distance.
1st day I go went to VIVO city which is Singapore's biggest mall, and to be perfectly honest with you I was kinda let down. I mean some people have been raving about how Singapore is a like a shopping heaven. Their goods are all branded and cheaper than ours. Their malls are better. Its all lies! I mean its a nice mall. However it definitely falls short compared to Mid-valley or One Utama. Our malls are giants compared to theirs. Of course they do live on a tiny island and have a little problem when it comes to space.
So i hear they have this theme park called Sentosa and I go to check it out. Turns out its not really a theme park. I mean not in a roller coaster kinda way. So scrap that idea.
Their MRT though is pretty amazing. Most of it underground and it even has two layers of trains at some parts. I mean the system there is really changgihfied. Everything is linked up like their trains and buses and stuff. Weird thing is their trains are wider and longer than ours because it transports so much more people but its so much quieter than ours. For a few reasons I think.
1. Their trains are generally quieter
2. Its underground and no ambient noise.
3. Singaporeans are actually pod people!!!!!
I mean really. Everybody kinda whispers and is really placid. Almost emotionless. I tried to play along so that they wouldn't assimilate me. I mean really the crime rate in Singapore is so low they actually put up posters hoping people will spot some so that the police will have something to do.
I guess if you do commit a crime you don't really have anywhere else to run. I mean your on an island. The police will bust your ass. They were also having this whole be careful of terrorist thing on how you be wary of bags left by other people. I think its good to make people aware but they keep on playing it in the stations and it makes me wonder if the Singaporeans are so bored that they have to stir up something. Well I guess being safe rather than sorry is always the better way to go.
I was also checking out the chicks in Singapore, and I can very proudly say Malaysian girls are hotter and we have more variety. I mean even if there is a hot Singaporean girl, they all kinda look the same. The only mixed couples I saw we're Ang Mo and Asian. Not so many mixed couples like in Kl. I mean Gurmit Singh is proof there are mixed couples in Singapore so I know there are lah, but I didn't even see 1 when I was there. Also Singaporean guys all kinda look like Magic players.You know the kinda awkward looking but brainy and nerdy type. Yeah magic players will know what I'm talking about.
I was also looking for some Black shoes as mine have torn and found a pretty nice pair of AND 1s. Some stuff in Singapore is really cheap. Basically the Old stuff. If it newer it may only be a few RM cheaper. I did see a lot of good buys though, but this was more within my price range. Really you guys should check it out though. Queensway if your looking for shoes especially, and Jerseys and stuff. The older designs are cheaperlah and me being the Kiasu person that I am I only get the best deals.
So the second day I go to JB since i figure I very rarely go south so why not kill 2 birds with one stone. when you cross the border from Singapore to JB there is a huge difference. Like Singapore is so calm and well organized and clean, JB is the total opposite. It was dirty, chaotic and loud. I really feel the government needs to clean up Jb as people will be comparing the two and when you hold them close to each other Jb is kinda like an eye sore. In some parts. Not everywhere. One thing is when i was in Jb I felt really rich paying in RM. Spent a few hours there went back and I start to think how ridicules that Singapore and Malaysia is not the same country. Its so near by and yet so different.
I mean I'm from Sabah so in terms of distance I found this very unusual. Them not being from the same country part not the Burger King part. Although that was kinda weird also.
So the next day I head back to Kl and I feel this was an interesting trip. At least i know what to expect the next time I come down and stay in Geylang..uh I mean Bencoolen..uh I mean JB.. Singapore is a very nice place. Very clean and slightly sterile but worth visiting for a few days. Don't stay too long though or you'll soon be broke like me or be assimilated into the collective or become a pod person.
Damn I bought the away kit as well. I don't earn that kinda money. Ok time to go eat some maggi, for the next 5 months. I hope I don get sick from MSG poisoning.